So Now I Got My Blue Belt,…Now What??

Do not be one of those clichéd blue belts who stops training once reaching the milestone.--photo courtesy of Jiu Jitsu Times/Todd Shaffer

A surprising number of bjj students quit jiu-jitsu after being awarded the coveted blue belt.
A goal they paid blood sweat and tears for (sometimes literally!),..and then they are no longer seen at the academy.

I call this the “Blue Belt Blues”.

Why would someone quit after all of that hard work and FINALLY graduating from the white belt?

There are a few common reasons.

1) A sudden vacuum in your motivation
After we reach a long sought after goal there is a brief period of celebration and basking in the satisfaction.
Then just a short time later,..we come back to normal and start looking around and asking “What is next?”.

Athletes who have won championships, mountain climbers who have summited Everest and astronauts who have landed on the moon all have reported depression in the months after having reached these goals.

The solution?
We need to set new goals and raise the bar for ourselves to stretch further.

read also: “What makes a purple belt?” – What should a blue belt concentrate on to become a purple belt?

2) A blue belt becomes a target
There is not a lot of pressure on newer students to perform to a certain standard.
But once there is a blue belt around your waist, many hungry, up and coming white belts see that as a target!
They reason that if they can tap a blue belt, then they must be getting close to their own blue belt!

The rolls can be increased in intensity when people are testing themselves against you and this can be a source of stress.

3) Self expectations
When you were a new white belt with ill fitting gi and stiff movements you may have marvelled at what seemed like superhero techniques of the blue belts in your gym!

Now,…YOU are wearing the blue belt.
Are you good enough to wear it? Are you every bit as good as those blue belts who used to squish you and lock your arms?
Self doubt is VERY common upon graduating to a new belt.
Along with that is an increased sense of pressure to perform at a higher level.

on Jiu-jitsu Times A Reader Question: “Feeling like I don’t deserve the Blue belt I just got.”

Truth is that you have a come a LONG way since those early classes in bjj.
Your belt belongs around your waist and now you need to adjust and continue on your bjj journey as a blue belt.


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